Watch mouth watering sushi dance past on a revolving belt at Maguro Bito (まぐろ人), which is said to be the top kaiten-zushi spot in Asakusa. Maguro means tuna and this conveyor belt sushi spot is known for its buttery smooth otoro (fatty tuna). I ventured out to see if this tuna was up to snuff.
After successfully navigating my way to what I thought was the location of Maguro Bito, I came to find a construction lot in the exact spot where the restaurant should've been. All I could think to myself was "Seriously?" Of course something like this would happen to me and on a day I was especially craving sushi! I checked the address again, just to make sure I didn't make a foolish gaijin error but much to my dismay I was actually in the correct spot. Alas, I spotted a small poster pasted to the wall of the site. Fortunately, I could read the Japanese on the sign.
The sign's directions led me to Shin-Nakamise Dori (新仲見世通), about one minute from where I was standing. Simply walk to Orange Street and make a right at the first shopping street, marked with signs hanging overhead. Shin-Nakamise Dori is a heavily congested shopping arcade that runs perpendicular to Nakamise Street. This shopping street is a typical site in touristy Asakusa, filled with inexpensive souvenirs, shoe and purse shops—basically everything you don't need. Maguro Bito is located amidst all the clutter and hubbub of the trinket shops and stands out with it's brand new wooden exterior and clearly marked sign (see picture).
Upon entering you will be enthusiastically greeted by the entire staff. English menus are available, listing all the different types of sushi you can order. The pricing system is easy to understand with colored plates indicating price from 140-520 yen per plate. If you don't see what you like coming round the belt, simply ask the chef what sushi you'd like made to order.
Of all the types of sushi I devoured during my visit, including anago (sea eel), uni (sea urchin), ebi (shrimp), and madai (red snapper), the otoro reigned as supreme. The taste was as buttery smooth and flavorful as claimed. I would return to Maguro Bito just to eat more of this delicous fatty tuna. Of course, the other fish I tried were very tasty and also worth a try. The service was up to par with what I've found in Japan and the wait staff were very happy to play with the customers, pretending to throw wasabi and serve empty plates.
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